Feedback wanted: New 2011 Milwaukee by Bike Map

Update: I have updated the maps below with many of the helpful comments I received today.  Thanks for taking the time to look this project over so closely.  If you want to take another look at the maps to see the changes I have made, scroll down and click on the images. 

I removed the hillshade from the north side of the map as I was unable to project it in the proper location.  I will give that another try tomorrow, but if I can’t make it work, I will drop the hillshade from both sides of the map.  It really doesn’t add too much usefull information anyway.

I am almost completely out of the 2009 edition of the Milwaukee by Bike map. We will print a new map as soon as I get the design finalized. Below you will find completed a draft versions of the 2011 edition.  I changed a few things based on comments I got about the last map. I tried to fix all the errors I was aware of.  I added a hill shade base layer to show elevations.  I removed all “planned” facilities do to the impossibility of predicting when projects will be approved by the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation.

There are a lot more bicycle “accommodations” around the county than there used to be.  These are the result of the new complete streets laws that require municipalities to accommodate bicycle and pedestrians on road projects involving federal or state funds.  The problem is that many of these municipalities will put in a 4ft shoulder, but they won’t put in the bike symbols, arrows or signs for a bike lane.  So they meet the bare minimum of the law without having to call it a bike lane.  I decided not to designate these bicycle facilities and instead identified them as “preferred streets.” 

A good example of this is Forest Home Ave.  In Milwaukee, the entire length of Forest Home has a bike lane.  As soon as you hit Greenfield, they stop putting the bike symbols and arrows in the shoulder.  So the road has the exact same cross-section.  If you ride it, you get to stay in the same width shoulder, but Greenfield did not want to call that space a bike lane.  So I decided not to label it as a bike lane, even though you really can’t feel the difference when you ride one segment versus the other.

Anyway, here are some PDFs of the new map.  If you are interested, I would appreciate feedback.  Even if you don’t live in Milwaukee, take a look and let me know what you think about the colors, the text on the map, the general cartography, the cover image, etc. If you do live in the are, let me know if I missed something, misspelled something, or whatever.  It is hard to look at such a big image on a computer screen, but most of you won’t have plotters to print the map full size, so that is about the only way to review these files until I print the map (and then it is too late).  I would appreciate any thoughts you have about the map though.  As with the previous editions, the north part of the county is on one side of the map and the south side of the county will be on the other side.

Note that these are pretty big files, around 45mb each, so you they take a bit to download.  You can zoom in on the images once they open and pan around to look at things in detail.

Click on the image to open a high res PDF of the north side of the 2011 map.


Click on the image to open a high res PDF of the south side of the 2011 map.


About daveschlabowske

Cyclechic advocate from Milwaukee
This entry was posted in Bike facilities, Planning and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Feedback wanted: New 2011 Milwaukee by Bike Map

  1. Dan boehm says:

    A couple of quick comments on the map.
    1. Please consider adding a small mention of the fact that all Milwaukee County Transit System buses are equipped with bike racks that can carry up to 2 bikes at one time. More information can be found at

    2. You might also want to mention the availability of Google maps (

    Directions by bike are available for Milwaukee. The electronic information may not be as up-to-date as your map, but it is useful to see some alternatives and estimated travel times electronically.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share some comments.

  2. Gary says:

    North Map: rivers and small water bodies have an “echo”. Not sure if that is a bad hill shade layer, but it doesn’t look right. I don’t see this on the on the south map. Is Truly spoken cycles truly going to open a shop on S 2nd St? You could put that on the map. Do you want to map the full loop on lakeshore state park? Is that portion of HAST from the river crossing east towards the domes open? I though that it was closed until they do further work on creating the park back there. Also on HAST let’s say we are headed east toward the Harley museum, before you hit 6th St you can dodge north through the parking lot go under 6th st and go along the river around the museum. Maybe this is really just for pedestrians though, not sure. Sticking to HAST the red portion of Pittsburg that runs along the river and is partially under the “Harley Museum” tag could be taken out or redirected because you can’t actually do that. Still sticking to HAST, I read (in off the couch) that they were considering on fixing up the trail west of 94th place with crushed limestone this year to alleviate some of the traffic on I-94 during the resurfacing project. Maybe you have more info on this. On the south map I have driven on 32 by the Oak Creek power plant and I see that We Energies is building a bike trail there. I think you can see the trail on the aerial photos of the counties GIS site. I don’t know if they plan on completeing the trail this year, if so, this could be placed on the map. Just my 2 cents.

    • daveschlabowske says:

      I did not notice that river thing. Good catch. I will look into that and fix it. If I have time, I will add the other trail on Lakeshore State Park. I already have the Hank Aaron correction at Pittsburgh noted, but planned on making it later, but another good catch. The Valley Passage is open, but the Valley Passage II connections to the Domes is not done yet. I agree it would be best to remove the entire Airline Yards segment. That Harley Museum connection is actually private, but it is a 24 hour connection and bikes are allowed, so I could add it. I know the HAST is supposed to be extended, but I have been burned on every “planned” facility in previous maps, so I am only putting down what is actually done at the time of printing. That trail down by the Oak Creek power plant is not very complete. I am hesitant to put it on the map. Thanks for all the comments, they are worth more than 2 cents!

  3. Sam Dodge says:

    South Map: Bike Shop #11 sticker is on KK just south of Lincoln. Don’t think that’s right.

    • daveschlabowske says:

      Good catch, I caught that and fixed it yesterday. I will update the PDFs with the latest ones I made by noon today.

    • Gary says:

      There Is also a #14 tag south of Mill Rd and 101st St. #14 is South Shore Cyclery.

      • Gary says:

        And a also a #12 (patio) at Oakland and Edgewood.

      • daveschlabowske says:

        I had fixed all the bike shops, but the pdf I exported does not have the corrections. Before noon I will be uploading a new version with the bike shops updated. Check back and see if I got it right. Thanks, and sorry for posting the version with all those errors.

  4. Gary says:

    Sorry I keep finding stuff (this is fun). There is a segment of Oakleaf trail between Drexel and Loomis that is off road which follows the river more closely. I beleive this has been in previous versions of the map.

    • daveschlabowske says:

      I love that you keep finding things. I hate when I hear about these mistakes after I have printed 30,000 maps. So keep them coming as you find them. For some odd reason I am having trouble uploading my updated pdf files to WordPress. I have made a bunch of corrections, but I can’t show them to anyone until I can get the file uploaded. My apologies, but you will want to check back later today or tomorrow. But please give me anything you find.

  5. Russell says:

    Could you also label all the bars and I Scream stands?

    I’ll peruse my neck of the woods on the map when I’m home this evening.

  6. Larry says:


    I don’t know if this beyond the scope of the request, but I think it would be helpful if the map marked the option for getting over I-94 at Wood’s Cemetery on the bridge: Google Bike Map . That was my preferred route when I was commuting from ‘tosa to 35th & Forest Home.

    • daveschlabowske says:

      Thanks for the suggestions Larry. Due to the layers on the map, that bridge displays under the interstate. I added the bridge over the interstate on the updated version. I hesitate to identify that route as a “preferred street” though because it is in such rough condition. What do you think? Is it an important enough connection to highlight, or does my bridge over the interestate handle it?

      • Russell says:

        I used to use that bridge quit a bit when I lived in West Milwaukee – it’s a great route to cross the interstate.

  7. Larry says:

    I forgot how rough it is, especially the bridge approach on the north side of the freeway.

    I think the main thing is to show there is a low traffic and pleasant option for crossing there. You’ve already had to make a lot of judgments about what to indicate as preferred, so you have the best sense of what are the thresholds of roughness, etc.

    I would say, that I remember section of the Oak Leaf Trail as being rougher, but that’s not saying much!

    • Kim W says:

      I use that section of the Oak Leaf (Underwood drive) on my commute, and will attest to its roughness. Going downhill I get in MTB off saddle, behind seat mode, and pretend I’m doing a rock garden. Almost scarey bad/bumpy on the skinny tired road bike.

      May want to double check with Marty at Metro Mtn bikers, pretty sure they’ve completed and officially opened a bit more trail over in the Harley Woods/Hampton area – and may have re-named it all to Oak Hill 1 & 2. Realize not so much for commuting or touring, but a great option for city folks not wanting to drive to the Kettles or elsewhere.

  8. Claus says:

    My bike map looks identical to my driving map 😉

  9. Paul Burdick says:

    This is a great site, thanks for maintaining it. Does anyone know the status of the bike path near Oak Creek Power Plant? For the longest time it has had a closed sign on the south side (last 2 years). Will it be open this year? Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s